I remember when I was in middle school making my first resumé for a leadership camp that I wanted to be a part of. Now, being 14 and knowing practically nothing about resumés, other than the fact that I needed one, led me to ask my parents for their advice.
Their advice was pretty solid advice for ‘back in the day’; include your address and phone number, all of your experience chronologically, and to include references.
“But I don’t have any references!”, 14-year-old Hannah replied.
My dad responded with, “write References Available Upon Request.”
It was a pretty solid resumé, and I did end up getting the position. All of this is to say that the advice you’ve probably gotten about how your resumé should be designed and what information it should include probably isn’t relevant anymore. And since resumés are getting shorter and shorter (most are just a single page now!), there’s always room for cuts. Here’s the 3 things you can remove from your resumé right now.
#1: Contact Information
I don’t know about you, but my resumé is readily available online. Heck, there’s even multiple versions of it online between my LinkedIn page, the resumé page on my website, and a link I send out for a printable version of my resumé.
If you look at any of these though, I don’t give out that much personal information; only the ways I actually want people to contact me. Which is why you won’t see my home address, work email, or even cell phone number on any of these places. If someone wants to contact me, they can fill out a form on my website or send me an email. Once I’ve established a connection, then I’ll supply the more direct forms of communication.
If you’re looking for a job or even just putting out feelers to see what’s out there, you want people to be able to find you! The more (relevant) information there is about you, the better informed someone’s decision can be. In the scope of hiring a team member, I would much rather hire someone I know a ton of stuff about because I researched them online than someone who gave me their home address, but I couldn’t even find them on LinkedIn.
#2: Paragraphs of information, or more than 3 bullet points
A while ago, someone realized that “hey, hiring managers don’t want to sit through resumé-novels”, and that they would prefer to have information in easily-digestible bullet points.
But then that turned into paragraph-like bullet points as people tried to skirt the system and still include as much information as they could in an attempt that there’s something there that the hiring manager is looking for.
Only it doesn’t work well, especially when you’re trying to stick to the 1-page guideline most people expect nowadays.
There’s tons of space in your interview, on your website, and in your cover letter to convey the information that you want to. Your resumé should just give the quick & dirty details.
Now, I might be biased because I’m in a creative field where also attaching a portfolio is not only accepted, but also encouraged, which gives me so much more room to give additional information. Even if you’re not in a field where additional resources over and above a resumé are required for an application, linking to your personal website or LinkedIn profile can give those who care more insight into you. Your LinkedIn profile is where you can go into as much detail as you would like to. Your resumé should not.
There’s 2 reasons why I’ll never ever ever ever include references on my resumé.
First of all, it’s kind of expected that someone has agreed to be a reference for you. References are pretty common, so it’s not like you’ll be special or over the top if you have references. Once you get later into the hiring process, the hiring manager will probably ask you for them anyway.
Second of all, I post my resumé publicly online. Can you imagine how many spam phone calls and emails my references would get if I posted their contact information online? Tons! I don’t even post my own contact info in my resumé, so it really wouldn’t make sense if I posted other peoples’ contact info!
Resumé style and design will dramatically depend on the industry. You wouldn’t apply for a prestigious scientific research role with the same resumé that you would for an in-house social media specialist role. It just wouldn’t make sense.
No matter what rules and guidelines you follow for your resumé, make sure they’re tailored to your industry.
Need some help designing the perfect resumé? Want to get a second opinion on the content and flow? Get in touch with me today to learn more about my resumé design and consultation packages!